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Architecture ≠ Building

11 student thoughts on the discipline and the discourse

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Architecture Without Architecture

Ball State CAP S24

Taught by Sewon Roy Kim

The discourse of architecture has been shaped not only via a building but also by other mediums, such as text, paintings, diagrams, and more. Vitruvius inscribed the discipline via De Architectura, a book, not a building. Renaissance ideals collapsed into a Vitruvian Man, a diagram, not a building. Laugier’s Primitive Hut, an etching, not a building. Modernism and the five points. Post-modern and the decorative shed. The list continues endlessly.


These non-built mediums have played a significant role in the history of Architecture. Piranesi’s speculative drawings, later written by Tafuri, became a fundamental inspiration for the deconstructive movement. Vriesendorp's surreal paintings, based on the paranoid critical method, opened a new chapter for architecture and urbanism. In the contemporary scene, architects are starting to narrate the complexities of our built environment via emerging mediums such as VR, AR, animations, and speculative renderings. Yes, architects make buildings, but buildings are not the only clay in molding our discipline.


This course examines all non-buildings that are still architecture. Mediums we will cover include both traditional and emerging, such as paintings, collages, etchings, sculptures, VR, AR, and animations. A series of lectures will introduce students to how architects have been shaping, framing, and often rupturing the discourse via non-building mediums. Paired with the lecture, students will develop projects that speculate the following phrase: “What is architecture.” A series of workshops and tutorials on traditional and emerging mediums will assist students in developing the skill sets required for completion of the course.


By the end of the semester, students will have an independent project that speculates architecture without architecture. The goal of this seminar is not only to learn new tools and mediums but to speculate on our discipline and discourse.


1.Proposition and the Modern

2.Bricolage and the Post-Modern

3.Surreal and the Contemporary

4. Embodiment and the Empathy Machine

5. Virtual Signifiers in the Physical World

6. L'architecture Virtuelle

7. The Mechanical Eye

8. Back to Physicality

9. Installations and the Agency

10. Architecture Without Architecture


- Drawing Workshop

- Digital Bricolage Workshop

- Virtual Reality Workshop

- Augmented Reality Workshop

- 3D Animation Workshop

- Acrylic Painting Workshop

- Mixed Media Workshop


Derek Bohm

Ian Dillon

Aerin Goldman

Katie Holland

Patrick Mcmanama

Juliet Oluyale

Tyler Pollard

Rosa Reinhard

Ben Stenftenagel

Cameron Swan

Griffin Temple

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